The perinatal mortality rate for Asian babies born in Bradford during the five years 1974-8 was persistently higher than for babies born to United Kingdom mothers. A comparative review of 18 924 British indigenous and 6443 Asian immigrant maternity patients delivered in Bradford from 1974-8 demonstrated several differences between the two ethnic groups. Factors operating in favour of Asian women were fewer teenage mothers, lower rates of illegitimacy, and fewer smokers. On the other hand, a greater number of factors presented increased risks to Asian patients-more women aged over 35, lower social class, higher parity, shorter pregnancy intervals, previous perinatal deaths, shorter duration of antenatal care, anaemia, shorter gestations, more babies born without professional help, and more low-birthweight babies. Local health education programmes are now concentrating on encouraging expectant mothers to attend early and regularly for antenatal care, to breast-feed their babies, and to increase the interval between pregnancies to at least one year.
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